One of the first npc’s met in Northport was Marcella, a part time barmaid and aspiring pit fighter in Vilgar’s stable, who eventually settled in with a Shevnian bureaucrat while continuing to spy on Vilgar’s behalf. Marcella, an Urhaqui (as orcs know themselves) was available (but never hired on) as a brawler, and is currently available as a contact. Given her skillset, she was probably a jugger player in her earlier years, but not a great one.
Recently, the thankfully progressive batch of players in my game have begun to investigate the social conditions and prospects of female orcs who are part of the turbulent world of the bloodsport that dominates the culture of Northport’s goblinoid population. They have been investigating a way to stem the interracial violence that has recently erupted amongst the jugga hooligans. Ordinarily, the rivalry between teams occasionally results in brawls and low grade vandalism, but in recent weeks, there have been attacks on common citizens by both groups, and the intolerant and callous Captain of the city guard who oversees their district is content with letting them murder each other.
Northport is an old city, founded over three thousand years ago by goblins, and overtaken by humans a thousand years later. There is still a significant goblin population, and the current human population has a bit of a gender imbalance, being composed largely of mercenary companies that settled after the war. The laws stringently support the rights of women, in an attempt to attract women to the armpit of the empire that Northport occupies. Not surprisingly, given the heavily orcish population in neighboring Shevnia, about a third of humans in Northport can count an orc as a relative. The high numbers of orcs and orcish kin makes wholesale slaughter of the jugga hooligans unsafe for the city as a whole.
So far my players have discovered that one of the orcish cheerers for the orcish jugga team has betrayed her allegiances with the qwick player of the goblin team. For this reason, the jugger players have been assaulting random goblins, and have been hunting for Hramina, chosen of Murfash, the captain of the Orc jugga team, along with her new paramour, Glosso.
Along the way, guided by Strong Clair, a laboring Urhaqui woman who never played jugga or cheered, unlike her sister, they have come to understand something of the proprietary attachment which the athletes feel for their devoted support crew. The athletes and their cheerers both enjoy reputation and some degree of status that persists even after their seasons of play end. The champion teams go on to high ranking social positions amongst the Urhaqi, but the teams that perform poorly often find their reputations as losers color the rest of their lives in less flattering hues.
A lot of this was learned as the party’s martial artist fought his way through the lower echelons of smasha enthusiasts in a dojo operated by Khrosh, a skirmisher built like a brute, and champion quick back in his heyday. Smasha is an eclectic and free form martial art style practiced by orcs, including any that have any skills in brawling and wrestling. The art focuses on any way of putting your opponent on the ground, and finds a kind of beauty in the crunch of bone, the sudden strike, and the sweep of the leg. Quite a few practitioners eschew weapons, although others embrace odd things like a Qian Kun Ri Yue Dao, (which is essentially a Bat’leh with the weapon modifier”orcish” as seen in the Forums) all respect high pain tolerance and frown upon healing.
Naturally, Khrosh also coaches the current teams of juggers, all of whom are encouraged to”walk it off.” This had the effect of allowing the martial artist to be heard after beating his way through the junior class, but also to him being laughed at when he called for the party healer.
Back to the issue of lady orcs. From back in the days of B2, when orcish females had no combat capability except for the leader’s harem, orc womenfolk have gotten sketchy representation, (although Turnkey miniatures offers options of dancer, cook and seamstress here). Following the example of jugger/civilian action and interaction laid out in Blood of Heroes, juggers pick mates from those “without scars.”
In this case, that also includes pretty boy Rochenko, who cheers for Margosh the chain player. Margosh was incidentally the end buyer of the chain several players acquired from a Demon of Old they defeated a while back. The fact that juggers employ chains in the same manner as said demons has a lot to do with why Father Robelard the goblin priest preaches against jugger playing. (Goblins like their jugga, so Father Robelard is not too popular.)
Now while the winning juggers will often marry their favorite cheerer, as they move into their next career as a guard, killer, brute or skirmisher, not all of the rarified groupies that make up the cheerers have that particular stable and desired future. Some do better; the current Matriarch of the orcs in Northport was once a cheerer herself, but is currently a wealthy business owner with significant political power.
A lot of what befalls juggers and cheers alike them is dependent upon how well the team performed. Strong Clair’s cousin, a former jugger, failed in his year, and has struggling wealth and bad reputation, in addition to the reduced movement brought on by the leg injury that cost his team the game. Cheerers of failing teams meet similar fates. The party members have made some of the cheerers question their future, at the same time angering the players, and had to beat a hasty retreat from the dojo.
The basic lens I employ for the cheerers is 40 pts consisting of +1 dex, +1 ht, attractive (or at least a move from ugly to unattractive), penetrating voice and teamwork perks, +1 reputation, and a 5pt code of honor along with a point each in performance, singing, dancing, sex appeal, carousing and brawling. This lens could be parleyed into anything from servant to agent, to killer or skirmisher.